Shirley grew up on “The Mill Hill” in a small North Carolina town. Unknowing at the time, she was blessed with an unusually crafty mother. Her mom cut her hair, she made her clothes, she supplied her grade school classes with endless handmade projects and treats… and she even had a barn in the backyard were she made and painted ceramics. All of this encouraged Shirley’s imagination. As she got older she began to discover her own, individual love for handmade art. She studied fine arts, art history, and photography both in and out of school… and even went on to win countless statewide awards. After graduation… she set out on her own creative journey.
Shirley went off to college with a full Art Scholarship and received a degree in Graphic Design. In the adult world… Shirley tacked on 14 years of design experience before deciding she needed bigger challenges. She started a jewelry business in 2002 with her sister by the name of Shila Creations (a combination of their names). In 2004, they opened an Artisan Boutique in their hometown by the name of Petal Dust. The name was and unlikely pairing of magnetic poetry words on a refrigerator in Asheville, NC just years before the store opened.
Somewhere along the way… Shirley found a husband… and a daughter with a creative mind of her own. Her daughter has inspired her from the moment of conception and would soon be the name sake of her future dream business. When Shirley was only a couple of months pregnant, she signed up for Baby Center’s weekly progress update. Each week she would receive an email with how big her baby was, what the baby could do, how she should feel, etc. One week a good friend, Hayley, asked “How big are we this week?”. ”The size of a blueberry”, she told her. Hayley has affectionately referred to Shirley’s daughter as “Blueberry” ever since, and her nickname was created! When trying to decide what to name her new project, she decided it would be best to name it after her very best project of all time… and Wild Blueberry Ink was born.